Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

 

 

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152

Email: consumer@paoca.org

Requesting Public Information or Records from the OCA

Before filing a Right-To-Know Request under the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law (65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq.), first consider telephoning or emailing the OCA Open Records Officer to request information informally.

The public documents used in OCA operations are generally available at no cost from Commonwealth Agencies or from public websites. The OCA can provide you with guidance to locate requested public documents without filing a Right-To-Know Request (RTKR) under Pennsylvania’s Right-To-Know Law (RTKL). The OCA strongly encourages the public to contact the OCA Open Records Officer using the contact information below prior to filing a formal RTKR with the OCA. An informal document request does not preclude an individual from subsequently filing a formal RTKR.

To contact the OCA Open Records Officer call 717-783-5048, or toll free 800-684-6560. You may also email informal requests to the OCA at consumer@paoca.org.

Making a request for records under the Right-To-Know Law:

All requests for public information under the RTKL must be addressed to the OCA Open Records Officer as follows:

Office of Consumer Advocate

Open Records Officer

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

555 Walnut Street, 5th Floor Forum Place

Harrisburg, PA 17101

Facsimile: 717-783-7152

While general requests for public information may be submitted to the OCA by a variety of means, (telephone, email; facsimile, in person, US Mail), a RTKR invoking the provisions of the RTKL must be submitted to the OCA on the form located here:

OCA Open Records Request Form

You may submit the RTKR to the OCA via US Mail, Facsimile, in-person  or at this email address: RTK@paoca.org.  A RTKR must describe each requested record with sufficient specificity for the OCA to determine which record is being requested and whether it is in OCA possession. The request must include the name and mailing address (and any other contact information) to which a written response should be addressed. You are not required to state a reason for making a request for records.

The RTKL allows five (5) business days for a response from the OCA. If you file a RTKR make sure you are seeking records and are not asking for legal advice, opinions, or guidance of any kind as the RTKL requires only the release of public records. The RTKL also allows for the charge of reasonable fees including, but not limited to, copying and postage.

 How to file an appeal of an adverse RTKR determination

If access is denied, in whole or in part, the requester may file an appeal with the Appeals Officer of the Office of Attorney General within fifteen (15) business days of the mailing date of the denial, or within 15 business days of a deemed denial, to the following address:

Office of Attorney General

Executive Office RTKL Appeals Officer

16th Floor, Strawberry Square

Harrisburg, PA 17120

The RTKL requires that the appeal state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the record is a public record and requires that the appeal address any grounds stated by the Right-to-Know Officer for denying the request. RTKR Appeal Forms may be found here

 Appeal Form

Other RTKL Information:

CONTRACTS:  If you are requesting a state contract, certain state contracts are available on the publicly accessible Pennsylvania Treasury website and can be viewed by searching the Contracts e-Library, located at http://www.patreasury.gov/

OFFICE HOURS:  The regular business hours of the Office of Consumer Advocate are 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday (except holidays and official office closings). Any RTKL request received by the OCA after the close of regular business hours shall be deemed to have been received on the following business day.

PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS ARE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS:  Be advised when RTKL requests are submitted to the OCA the request itself becomes a public record subject to disclosure under the RTKL, if requested.

FEE SCHEDULE:  The OCA follows the fee schedule and conditions established by the Attorney General at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/r2k.aspx .

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

Pennsylvania Office of Open Records

65 P.S. §67.101 et seq.

OAG Administrative Policy - Right to Know

 

Commonwealth Website